The government is considering the possibility of putting all public universities under one management. The move is being looked into for possible creation of synergies to enhance efficiency in public universities.
The proposal came up during the just-concluded government retreat in Rubavu.
Speaking to The New Times yesterday, the Director of the Higher Education Council (HEC), Prof. Geoffrey Rugege, said that the move will help reduce expenses.
“Money will be saved in administrative and course design costs,” said Rugege.
He explained that if all the institutions are consolidated, services that fall in the same faculties will be handled by one person.
“For example, after the merger, there may be one Rector and then deans of faculty can become heads of various campuses,” he said, adding that it will eventually lead to the reduction of the departments.
Rugege added that it will bring harmony in faculties that are scattered in various campuses by having a common curriculum.
There are eight public institutions of Higher learning across the country with a population of about 25,000 students.
Rugege said that if all the institutions are brought together, planning will become easier.
Asked if the merger will not cause any negative effects, especially on the side of students, Rugege ruled out the possibility and said: “I don’t see students being affected. Instead, they stand to benefit from having a stronger system.”
According to the Minister of Education, Charles Murigande, a study is yet to be commissioned to find out if the policy is feasible.
“It has been suggested that the creation of synergy will result into stronger research projects. Lecturers will be able to work together instead of each one identifying themselves with a given institution,” he said.
In a telephone interview, the Acting Rector of KIST, Prof. John Severin Mshana, said that the idea was good.
“I am not worried about it. It will lead to optimal utilization of the resources,” said Msahana.
He also said that the restructuring is possible because it has been done in other countries like South Africa and the United Kingdom.